Who is the Father of Geography?

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Jan 3, 2022, 8:15

The word geography comes from the Greek word 'geographika'. Geography is considered a science and is a study of the Earth and its physical features. It comprises all the people on this planet and how they interact with their immediate environment and natural phenomenon on Earth. All landmasses, oceans, and seas are part of geography. 

The subject physical geography comprises the lithosphere, the hydrosphere, the biosphere, and the atmosphere. The lithosphere includes the land and its different features, the atmosphere includes the gaseous blanket around planet Earth, the hydrosphere refers to the water surface and its various characteristics, and the biosphere includes the living organisms found on both land and in water.

These are the branches of physical geography:

  • Biogeography
  • Landscape Ecology
  • Geomorphology
  • Geodesy
  • Environmental Management
  • Coastal Geography

The Father of Geography in the World

Eratosthenes of Cyrene is known as the father of geography since he was the first person who supposedly used the word geography. This astronomer and mathematician hailed from Ancient Greece and was born in 276 BC. He composed a three-volume series, Geographika, as the head of the Great Library during the reign of Pharoah Ptolemy III. 

The Achievements of Eratosthenes

  • He created the earliest accurate projection of the world.
  • There were grid lines on his projection that looked like longitudes and latitudes, which we find on maps today.
  • He accurately calculated the circumference of the Earth. There was only an error of 100 miles in his calculation. 
  • The circumference of the Earth was calculated based on certain factors like the depth of a Syene well. He followed the Sun's directions for determining the circumference. 
  • He also introduced us to the leap year and measured the Earth's tilt. 
  • The 'Eratosthenes sieve' is an algorithm for identifying prime numbers. 

The Father of Indian Geography

James Rennell is considered the father of Indian geography. He was a marine survey and hydrography expert. Rennell created the first accurate map of the Indian subcontinent in 1783 with geographical data provided by the British Army. It was known as the map of Hindoostan or the Mughal Empire. 

His work in the study of ocean currents and winds is also pioneering. His contribution to the science of oceanography has earned him the title 'the father of oceanography'. He was the first Surveyor-General of Bengal. 

If you are a UPSC student, then use the keywords 'Father of Geography UPSC' to get the best resources for examination study at BYJU's Exam Prep. We make your preparation of Geography easy with our classroom videos, previous papers, test series, and free videos. Get all the practice you need to improve your score in Geography.

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FAQs about Father of Geography

  • Who is the father of geography?

Eratosthenes of Cyrene (which was part of Ancient Greece) is the father of geography.

  • Who is the father of Indian geography? 

James Rennell is known as the father of Indian geography. 

  • Can I get information about the father of geography in Hindi?

Yes, by using the keywords 'father of geography in Hindi', you can get all the information you need on the subject in Hindi.

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Neha DhyaniNeha DhyaniMember since Jul 2017
An IT engineer turned Writer, Neha is a versatile content creator at ‘Gradeup’, who covers news and top stories of the education sector. She has been in the industry since 2015. She is passionate about her work, however, when she isn’t crafting content, she’s probably reading, playing badminton, watching YouTube or just lazing around. Her email address is neha.dhyani@gradeup.co.